Can a Metal Roof Be Installed Over Shingles?

Roofer working on roof structure of building on construction site,Roofer using air or pneumatic nail gun and installing Metal Sheet on top new roof.

Many homeowners wonder if they can install a metal roof on top of their existing shingle roof. The answer is yes, and it’s a common practice. This method can save time and money while providing a durable, long-lasting roof. Let’s explore how this process works and answer some common questions about it.

Can You Put a Metal Roof on Top of Shingles?

Yes, you can put a metal roof on top of shingles. This process is known as a “roof overlay” or “roof-over.” Instead of tearing off the old shingles, a metal roof is installed directly over them. This can be a good option if your shingle roof is in good condition and you want to save on the cost and labor of removing the old roof.

Installing a metal roof over shingles involves placing a metal panel system over the existing roof. Special screws and fasteners are used to secure the metal panels to the roof structure. This method can be quicker and less messy than tearing off the old shingles.

Do You Remove Shingles Before Installing a Metal Roof?

You do not have to remove the shingles before installing a metal roof. However, there are some situations where it might be better to remove them. For example, if your shingle roof has significant damage, such as large amounts of rot, mold, or structural issues, removing the shingles can help ensure a solid foundation for the new roof.

In most cases, though, as long as the shingle roof is in decent shape, you can install the metal roof right on top. This saves time, reduces labor costs, and minimizes waste because you don’t have to dispose of the old shingles.

Do You Need Underlayment for a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

Yes, you need underlayment for a metal roof over shingles. Underlayment is a protective layer that goes between the shingles and the metal roof. It serves several important purposes:

  1. Moisture Barrier: It helps prevent any moisture that might get through the metal roof from reaching the shingles and causing rot or mold.
  2. Cushioning: It provides a smooth surface for the metal panels to rest on, which can help prevent damage to the shingles and the metal roof.
  3. Insulation: It can add an extra layer of insulation, helping to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The most common types of underlayment used for metal roofs over shingles are synthetic underlayment and felt underlayment. Synthetic underlayment is more durable and resistant to tears, while felt underlayment is more affordable but less durable.

How Long Does a Metal Roof Over Shingles Last?

A metal roof installed over shingles can last a long time, often between 40 to 70 years. The exact lifespan depends on several factors, including the type of metal used, the quality of the installation, and the local climate.

Metal roofs are known for their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions, such as heavy snow, strong winds, and hail. They also do not rot, crack, or warp like some other roofing materials. With proper maintenance, a metal roof over shingles can last for many decades, providing long-term protection for your home.

What Are the Benefits of Putting a Metal Roof Over Shingles?

There are many benefits to putting a metal roof over shingles. Here are some of the main advantages:

  1. Cost Savings: Installing a metal roof over shingles can save you money because you don’t have to pay for the labor and disposal costs associated with tearing off the old shingles.
  2. Time Efficiency: The installation process is faster because there is no need to remove the existing shingles. This means less disruption to your daily life.
  3. Environmental Benefits: By leaving the old shingles in place, you reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill. Metal roofs are also recyclable at the end of their lifespan.
  4. Durability: Metal roofs are extremely durable and can withstand extreme weather conditions. They are resistant to fire, wind, and hail, providing excellent protection for your home.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Metal roofs reflect solar heat, which can help reduce cooling costs in the summer. When combined with proper insulation and ventilation, they can make your home more energy-efficient.
  6. Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require less maintenance than traditional shingle roofs. They do not crack, warp, or need frequent repairs.
  7. Aesthetic Appeal: Metal roofs come in various styles and colors, allowing you to choose a look that complements your home’s architecture. They can add a modern and sleek appearance to your house.


Installing a metal roof over shingles is a practical and cost-effective option for many homeowners. It saves time and money, provides a durable and long-lasting roof, and offers numerous benefits such as energy efficiency and low maintenance. While you generally do not need to remove the old shingles, using underlayment is essential to ensure a smooth and protective installation. With proper care, a metal roof over shingles can protect your home for decades.

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